by Drew Baumgartner
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
The tonal range of Tom Taylor’s All New Wolverine is truly remarkable. We’ve seen issues of high drama and irreverent fun, all of which gives this series a depth of emotional experience that at least approaches real life. Moreover, the range allows Taylor to wield tone with a nuance that is rare in superhero comics, juxtaposing and combining them within issues to evoke ever more specific emotions. The surprising tonal twist in issue 22 is far from the most subtle Taylor has ever pulled, but I’ll be darned if it isn’t effective.
The opening 3/4 of the book read like a comedy — we find Laura and Gabby trading wits with Deadpool and later the Guardians of the Galaxy, two of Marvel’s most reliable joke-makers. But, of course, Gabby holds her own with all of them, bringing Deadpool to tears with her gags. She steals the scenes even when they’re explicitly about something else.
And that, ultimately, is the key to what makes the ending so effective; this issue isn’t just funny — it reminds us that Gabby is a significant source of joy for Laura (and this series). In that way, when the brood shows up and captures her, it’s not just a shocking surprise, it sets clear emotional stakes. All of the fun of this issue was stripped away twice over in that moment. Plus, it sets up Aliens, but with Laura Kinney as Ripley — who could not be excited by that?
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?